A Simple Christmas: Handmade Gifts from the Heart

Who’s ready for Christmas????  Yeah…me neither.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas.  In fact, it’s my all time favorite holiday.  Maybe because I’m writing this before I’ve finished my Thanksgiving menu plan?  Yep, that’s it.  Are you one of those people that have Christmas decorations in full swing the day after Halloween?  Stop the madness people!  One holiday at a time….please!  All joking aside…Christmas is such a magical time of year.  The cold, crisp, white snow blanketed over everything outside and the warm, cozy snuggles, Christmas movies, and homemade hot chocolate inside.  Mmmmmm.  The sparkle bouncing off the ornaments on the Christmas tree, decorating, baking, and crafting with my kids.  And of course our biggest reason…celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Then there’s the presents.  Does anyone else feel like they spend countless, mind numbing hours searching and searching for the perfect gifts?  What about what you want for Christmas? My absolute favorite things to get for Christmas are simple, handmade things.  Things that will be useful and be a blessing to me and my family.  A few years back I decided that I was pretty much done with piling in the Christmas toys that my kids would play with for 2 weeks then toss aside, never to be heard from again…and be more intentional and practical with the gifts we give our children, and others.  I think handmade gifts have so much more love and meaning and purpose in them.  As much as I enjoy getting handmade things, I enjoy making and giving them even more.

Keep reading, because at the end of this post, there will be a list of blogs that I highly recommend you go check out for more ideas on simple, handmade Christmas gifts.

There are 2 gifts that I’ve been making for years that are always popular.  Homemade soap and crocheted items.

Both of these crafts produce beautiful items, and your imagination and creativity are the only things that will limit you on what you can do.

Crochet is pretty easy to learn and once you learn a few simple stitches you’ll be good to go!  Click HERE to check out a fantastic YouTube channel for all stages of learning.

Soap making can be done 3 different ways:

Melt & Pour (MP): This method does not require the use of any lye and is the best option for a beginner.  It consists of melting down a pre-made block of soap and adding essential or fragrance oils, colorants and any other desired additives, and re-molding it.

Cold-Process (CP):  Requires the use of lye.  You will need several materials for this method and a well ventilated area. Using lye can be intimidating at first, but with the proper use and safety precautions, you’ll get comfortable with it, and you can make some beautiful bars with swirl patterns and textures.

Check out the video for my full cold-process soap making tutorial.

Hot-process (HP): Requires the use of lye.  This method requires the exact same ingredients as the cold process method plus a crock pot.  The major difference in HP is that the saponification (the process of going from ingredients to soap) happens in the crock pot.  When molding HP soap, it gives you a much more rustic look...that I absolutely LOVE…just check out that picture of my peppermint soap. L.O.V.E.

Aside from the beautiful handmade masterpieces you are creating with soap making, the bars are incredibly good for your skin.  There are so many great things to use in them.  Olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, herbs, and essential oils are my favorites.  Using a soap calculator is crucial in soap making, because even if you are a fraction of an ounce off, it can make or break your batch. Brambleberry has a soap calculator app for IPhone and Android that is excellent and super simple to use.

Let me know if you decide to give it a try.  I’d love to hear how it goes!

Let’s share some creative inspiration!  What homemade gifts have you made or received that were a huge hit?

Here are some wonderful blogs with more Simple Homemade Christmas gift ideas:
Sanctuary Farmstead’s Candied Pecans
Under A Tin Roof’s DIY Dream Pillow
Folk + Co’s Homemade Salves
Wholefed Homestead’s Old Fashioned Pulled Honey Taffy
The Montana Farmhouse’s Homemade Beeswax Wraps
House To Homestead’s DIY Metal Stamped Jewelry

Happy Holidays!!!